California enacts new employer training laws

Beginning on the first day of 2020, companies that operate hotels or motels must provide at least 20 minutes of training related to human trafficking. The training must be given to any employee who is likely to be around human trafficking victims, and it can be provided in a classroom setting or any other method deemed effective. By Jan. 1, 2021, companies that have five or more employees will be required to provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors.

Furthermore, all other workers must be given at least one hour of sexual harassment training by this date. Once the law takes effect, similar levels of training must be provided every two years. The new training rules apply to all workers whether they work for a company throughout the year or on a seasonal basis. California's new requirements were inspired partially by the #Metoo and #TimesUp campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the issue.

Some companies in Delaware, Connecticut and Illinois are also required to provide sexual harassment training to their workers. Connecticut's law will take effect in October 2020 while the Illinois law only applies to companies that have 15 or more employees. Schools and companies throughout the country are also providing additional training to help prevent incidents that could have a negative impact on a person's mental health.

Employers who fail to provide a safe working environment for all of their employees may be violating state or federal law. An attorney may be able to help someone who has been the victim of a labor law infraction obtain compensation or other forms of relief. Workers may use witness statements, emails or other evidence to show that they were the victims of sexual harassment or other types of harassment while on the job.

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